How can quarantine prevent this situation?

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ray_sj

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I need some advice from quarantining experts!

I believe in QTs and always quarantine any new arrivals for 4-6 weeks. My latest batch of guppies were in the QT for 5 weeks, and showed no sign of any disease, other than a split tail fin on one of them. No spots, no flashing, no lethargy, nothing.

So I added two of the new guppies to my established guppy display tank last week. Tank parameters are normal at 0/0/10, and been running for over a year without any problem. Yesterday, 2 of the 5 original guppies in the display tank died suddenly. They were lethargic and rested on the bottom of the tank. The remaining 3 are starting to be lethargic as well. I suspect they have internal bacterial infections. The 2 new guppies are completely fine, however.

Obviously my quarantine process failed. Question is, how could I have prevented this? Should I have pre-emptively medicated them just in case?
 

Nutter

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I don't think there's a whole lot you could have done to prevent this situation. It's possible the stress from the move to the main tank lowered the immune system enough for the fish to have gotten sick. You can't always tell if a fish is sick in QT either. Some things we just can't see until it's too late. I don't think pre-emtive medicating is ever a good idea. There are just too many things that could be wrong with a fish that we can't see. How would we ever know which meds we should be giving? You would have to medicate for som many different possibilities that the fish would die from all the meds you needed to give to have your bases covered. Unfortunately, sometimes these things just happen.
 

jetajockey

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this is one of the reasons why I decided to start using medicated food on QT fish, just as a precautionary measure.



hope this helps!
 
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ray_sj

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Thanks for your replies!

The weird thing is the NEW guppies are fine. It's the guppies that were already in that tank have become ill. Up until I introduced the 2 new guppies, the original residents of that tank had been completely healthy for more than a year. Of course, this could just all be a coincidence, I suppose.. Or, the new guppies brought along some bacteria that other guppies didn't have resistance to.

I've read that public aquariums and some wholesalers will medicate fish for common diseases, whether they show symptoms or not. I haven't convinced myself this is a good idea, though.
 

claudicles

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5 weeks in quarantine is pretty long. I'm not sure of the incubation period of most common fish diseases but I'm sure it would be less than that. Most human diseases certainly are. Even if your fish were on prophylactic medication prior to coming home, those should have been well out fo their system and they should have manifested any disease within five weeks. The only thing I can think of is the fish were in some sort of carrier state, that is carrying a disease but not manifesting it, in which case no matter how long you quarantined them you would not have known until you put them in your main tank and the others got sick. I'm no expert in ichtiologic disease but there are plenty of human diseases with a carrier state.
 
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